Almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists. We are all becoming more aware of the need to quit putting plastic garbage into the environment. We need to buy and use fewer plastics, particularly single use items and disposables. And most of us are already taking steps to change our habits. At first, this seems inconvenient but once we acquire a new way, it becomes an easy routine. Here are some alternatives to using plastics that can be easily incorporated into our daily lives. We don’t yet have all the solutions but we can feel proud of the steps we take and continue to try new habits.
1. Carry your own fabric shopping bags or baskets. Boxes and paper bags are also good because they are compostable.
2. Carry washable mesh bags or baskets for produce or don’t use any (we wash our produce anyway). Avoid prewrapped vegetables
3. Carry your own mug, drinking bottle and metal straw.
4. Store food in glass or stainless steel containers. Vow to buy no more plastic refrigerator dishes. Try out the reusable beeswax wrappers to cover leftovers or wrap sandwiches.
5. Avoid cleaning products in plastic bottles. Along with soap, shampoo and hair conditioner also come in concentrated bars. Laundry detergent is available in small dissolving sheets. Use concentrated cleaning products and refillable containers. And, remember, household cleaning can be done with vinegar and water.
What else can we do? Ask our grocers about their efforts to reduce or eliminate plastic from their businesses. Talk to our neighbours about what they are doing and learn from each other. Evaluate what plastics are in our garbage and check in with materials list or call toll free 1-800-667-4321 to make sure we are recycling everything we can.
We all know the motto: reduce, reuse, and recycle, and the most important “r” REFUSE. As consumers, let’s lead by doing, let’s REFUSE to buy or use single use plastics. Then governments and producers will get the picture and it will be easier to get changes to regulations and practices.
Waste Reduction Committee
Kaslo Climate Action Team (KCAT)